Author: Kate Mani

Kate Mani is a student of journalism, law and Italian from Melbourne, Australia who is passionate about languages, travel and history. She balances study with freelance writing and is relishing the opportunity to do both during a winter sojourn in Florence.
December 7, 2018

For a break from Florence nightlife, Bologna beckons

Searching for a big sabato sera?  Only 35 minutes from Florence by Freccia lies a city of towers and tortellini, home to the oldest university in Europe. Whether you still have your student card or not, everyone’s young on a night out in Bologna.   Aperitivo / At Cocoa Bar Bistrot (via Altabella 14/a) a […]
March 2, 2017

Lessons from eating at an Italian table

My introduction to cucina casalinga begins in a small sunny kitchen in Santa Croce, with a view of the Palazzo Vecchio just behind my shoulder. Polenta and polpettine are nearly ready and Chianti has been opened when that typical question arises, “What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed between Italian and Australian culture?” As children are […]
February 19, 2017

“My beautiful San Giovanni”: Florence Baptistery

In his ‘Divine Comedy’, Dante described the building as “my beautiful San Giovanni,” yet he was not the only famous Florentine to be baptised here.
February 8, 2017

A less rosy Renaissance: grim Florence

Remove your Renaissance rose-coloured glasses and consider some of these grim yet intriguing sites from Florence’s prettiest period.
February 6, 2017

Favourite study spots in Florence

Reality has to hit eventually. You have spent days wandering Florence in awe of Santa Croce’s frescoes and Ghiberti’s golden gates, snapping pictures of the Vasari Corridor and Botticelli’s Primavera. Then suddenly it is essay time, with due dates hanging over your head, while your mind is really still somewhere between the Ponte Vecchio and […]
February 3, 2017

How learning Italian made me “pazza”

It is not just the Italian language that has made me crazy: some responsibility has to go to Florence.
February 1, 2017

Why Renaissance Studies will always need Florence

What does being on-site in Florence still offer to a budding Renaissance student? Sensory appreciation of the space itself.
January 31, 2017

A futile slaughter: Florence remembers World War I

“Under the line of enemy fire, minus 15 degrees, and {the soldiers} have to advance. Thousands die frozen…the most courageous officers burst out crying at the futility of the efforts, facing the impossible.”   The story encapsulated in this letter, written by an Italian war general during the 1915 Battle of Isonzo in present-day Slovenia, […]
January 25, 2017

Urs Fischer to exhibit in piazza Signoria

Swiss artist Urs Fischer is expected to leave his contemporary artistic mark on Florence's piazza della Signoria this September.

Top Carnevale celebrations near Florence for 2017

While Florence’s forecast may not be warming up anytime soon, festivities are in the air again as Tuscany prepares for its annual Carnevale celebrations. Spanning throughout February, Carnevale signifies the ‘last hurrah’ leading up to the somber liturgical season of Lent. The grand finale is Fat (or Shrove) Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras or […]